Around the world, the massive commercial web that makes up the international trade of goods is known as the global supply chain. Carried out by a vast and complicated network of ships, planes, private and public companies, governments, and the internet, it allows us to live a modern life. But the supply chain itself depends on fragile components.
The international world of shipping is first and foremost inextricably connected to the GSC. Every day, tens of millions of containers transport everything from produce, meat, prepackaged food, cosmetics, clothes, and furniture to technology, gadgets, televisions, phones, and cars. And that’s only scratching the surface! If there ever were to be a problem with the shipping industry, like a massive environmental crisis or a badly timed accident (such as the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal in 2021), it could mean the delay of millions of potential products and industries. These are the same companies, after all, that make up every local department store and grocery store that you frequent.
Another critical piece of the global supply chain (and often overlooked until a recent crisis) is the necessity of semiconductors. Or, in other words – computer microchips. You may not realize just how universally necessary such microchips are, appearing in every imaginable technological piece of equipment. Not just computers or game consoles, but refrigerators, washers, cars, microwaves, watches, and calculators… just to name a few. Inspection systems are critical to functioning semiconductors around the world. The pandemic brought with it fluctuations in demand for semiconductors that plummeted the industry deep into a shortage. Semiconductors are complicated and take a long time to produce, even in a factory setting, and the shortage set many industries back (especially the automobile industry) in a significant way.
As you may have guessed, internet shopping nowadays makes up a huge percentage of GSC interactions. This spans from the individual customer transactions that are carried out, to intercompany and intergovernmental communication, to the processing of orders within a given company. While the GSC existed before the internet, the globalization brought by the easily accessible web has also brought radical streamlining in the GSC process. If a country was to lose its internet grid, it would lose a vital connection to the outside world.
The global supply chain is a supremely important part of the modern global economy. It provides such a wide variety of products that there is likely not a single first-world country that could function without it. The thousands of internal systems that contribute to the GSC’s process are why this is possible.
Check out this article on how to overcome the top 5 logistics challenges in 2022!
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